Ex-Leaders Urge More Russian, Western Dialogue to Avert Ukraine ‘Escalation’

Ukrainian servicemen look on as an armored vehicle with a Ukrainian flag drives past in a convoy headed towards the eastern city of Debaltceve, in the region of Donetsk, on July 30. A group of former European and Russian officials on Thursday urged leaders on all sides to exercise restraint in resolving the conflict.
National Journal
Sebastian Sprenger
Add to Briefcase
Sebastian Sprenger
July 31, 2014, 10:40 a.m.

Former top Rus­si­an and European dip­lo­mats are ask­ing their coun­tries’ lead­ers to ramp up co­oper­a­tion, not es­chew it, to re­solve a ma­jor rift over Ukraine.

Re­call­ing “ba­sic les­sons of crisis-man­age­ment learned dur­ing the Cold War,” the group of eld­er states­men made their plea in a po­s­i­tion pa­per re­leased Thursday by the European Lead­er­ship Net­work and oth­er think tanks.

Among the doc­u­ments’ sig­nat­or­ies are not­able Rus­si­an fig­ures, in­clud­ing former For­eign Min­is­ter Ig­or Ivan­ov and the Krem­lin’s for­eign-in­tel­li­gence chief, re­tired Gen. Vy­acheslav Trub­nikov. European sig­nat­or­ies in­clude past for­eign and de­fense min­is­ters of Po­land, the United King­dom, Spain and France.

Their pa­per comes as a con­flict over Ukraine between Rus­sia on the one side and Europe and the United States on the oth­er threatens to spir­al out of con­trol. West­ern of­fi­cials sus­pect Rus­sia of prop­ping up pro-Mo­scow sep­ar­at­ists in the east­ern part of the coun­try, pur­pose­fully destabil­iz­ing Ukraine. Many Rus­si­ans see the con­flict as a must-win battle against West­ern ef­forts to en­croach on their bor­ders.

The re­cent down­ing in Ukrain­i­an air space of a ci­vil­ian pas­sen­ger jet, which killed nearly 300, has fur­ther stoked ten­sions as a search for the per­pet­rat­ors un­folds.

For starters, the po­s­i­tion pa­per pro­poses that all sides em­phas­ize re­straint to their re­spect­ive mil­it­ary chains of com­mand. In ad­di­tion, mech­an­isms for dis­pute res­ol­u­tion must be strengthened, the doc­u­ment re­com­mends.

“The NATO-Rus­sia Coun­cil has barely met since the crisis in Ukraine erup­ted,” the former of­fi­cials lament. “E.U.-Rus­sia crisis man­age­ment ar­range­ments also do not ex­ist.”

They also warn that strictly uni­lat­er­al meas­ures, such as a Rus­si­an in­va­sion in­to Ukraine or tough European sanc­tions against Mo­scow, likely would back­fire rather than re­solve the con­flict.

What We're Following See More »
FROM THE RIGHT AND THE CENTER
Nine Senate Republicans Vote Against BRCA
10 hours ago
THE LATEST
TURNED OVER NOTES
Manafort Testifies in Closed Session
10 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Paul Manafort, who served as a top aide to President Trump’s 2016 campaign, on Tuesday provided congressional investigators notes he took during a Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer that has emerged as a focus in the investigation of Russian interference in the election. Manafort’s submission, which came as he was interviewed in a closed session by staff members for the Senate Intelligence Committee, could offer a key contemporaneous account of the June 2016 session."

Source:
PENCE BREAKS THE TIE
Senate Will Debate House Bill
16 hours ago
THE LATEST

By the narrowest of margins, the Senate voted 51-50 this afternoon to begin debate on the House's legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins defected from the GOP, but Vice President Pence broke a tie. Sen. John McCain returned from brain surgery to cast his vote.

Source:
MURKOWSKI, COLLINS VOTE NAY
Republicans Reach 50 Votes to Proceed on Health Bill
17 hours ago
THE LATEST
INTERVIEWED KUSHNER FOR OVER THREE HOURS
House Russia Probe: Kushner “Satisfied” Questions
17 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Republicans who interviewed Jared Kushner for more than three hours in the House’s Russia probe on Tuesday said the president’s son-in-law and adviser came across as candid and cooperative. 'His answers were forthcoming and complete. He satisfied all my questions,' said Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), who’s leading the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login